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Inter-agency cooperation and intelligence-led port controls in Kenya

Two national workshops took place back-to-back in Malindi, Kenya, in October 2023, both with technical support from TMT.

The first workshop was held on 17-18 October 2023 under the EU-funded ECOFISH project implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).

TMT is working with the IOC and the seven participating countries of its Regional Fisheries Surveillance Plan (IOC-PRSP) to improve interagency cooperation on fisheries MCS.

TMT’s mandate in this context is to assess the level of inter-agency cooperation and facilitate national discussions to identify avenues for improvement.

In the Kenya workshop, participants included representatives from the Kenya Fisheries Service (KeFS),  State Department for the Blue Economy and Fisheries (SDBEF), Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Port Health, Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS), Attorney General (AG), Office of the Director of Prosecution (ODPP), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Judiciary, Department of Immigration Services, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS), Kenya Navy (KN), Joint Operation Centre (JOC), Joint Port Control Unit (JPCU), Multi-Agency Framework , as well as the BMUs network.

Presentations on key areas requiring inter-agency cooperation were given by KeFS (NPOA-IUU development and implementation; PSMA implementation), KCGS (at-sea fisheries patrols) and KMA (registration and licensing of fishing vessels).

Discussions identified recurrent challenges across key cooperation areas which need addressing through an overarching inter-agency mechanism for fisheries MCS.

The meeting reviewed the draft TORs for the Inter-agency MCS Unit, which was established by law (Fisheries Management and Development Act (FMDA) of 2016) but is yet to be operationalized.

The session allowed participants to familiarize themselves with the content of the TORs – drafted as part of the World Bank-funded KEMFSED project – and the intended scope of action of the inter-agency MCS Unit.

Comments and edits were made in plenary, and the reviewed draft will be further consolidated by KeFS as another step towards finalization and approval.

The second workshop, held on 19-20 October 2023, convened the same agencies to discuss the effective implementation of the FAO Port State Measure Agreement (PSMA) as part of the ‘Intelligence-led fisheries port controls’ programme, which was initiated by TMT and Global Fishing Watch (GFW) to support African States in the implementation of this agreement.


The PSMA Port Profile of Mombasa – a baseline analysis of port use by foreign-flagged fisheries vessels over a reference period of 3 years – was formally presented to participants with a view to increase their knowledge of the types of vessels and operations using Mombasa port, identify factors increasing the risk of IUU fishing, and improve the targeting of vessels for inspection.


The workshop included a training session on Vessel Viewer, a mobile application developed by GFW and TMT aimed at providing port inspectors with the most up-to-date information on a fishing vessel’s identity and operations.

Vessel Viewer was first introduced in Kenya in 2022 as part of the application’s test phase, in which four countries participated as test users (Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Kenya). New functionalities were recently implemented, and the application is now being rolled out to a broader user base in Kenya.


Kenya became a party to the Port State Measures Agreement in 2017 and has recently conducted a gap assessment of its MCS regulatory framework and capacities with the support of FAO.

A roadmap for PSMA implementation is being developed to address those gaps and will guide all support activities to KeFS and partner frontline agencies.



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